Elche vs Girona

La Liga overachievers Girona head to the Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero to encounter Segunda Division mid-table strugglers Elche in a lopsided Copa del Rey tie.

Second-tier Elche experienced a catastrophic end to 2023 as a three-game winless run (D1, L2) demoted them to the Segunda Division mid-table, diminishing their chances of securing a playoff berth. Therefore, the upcoming Copa del Rey assignment could be a welcoming distraction for Elche, who thumped Linares 3-1 in the previous round to set up this tie. Despite the bookies giving them slim chances of making it out of this round, ‘Los Franjiverdes’ deserve the benefit of the doubt, considering they’ve only lost once in their last ten home outings (W6, D3). However, Elche lost both top-flight H2Hs against Girona in their fateful 2022/23 campaign, conceding precisely twice on each occasion.

On the other hand, Girona’s dream La Liga season continues in 2024 as they netted a stoppage-time winner to beat fellow top-four tenants Atletico Madrid 4-3 at home and maintain their grip on joint-leaders Real Madrid. Indeed, Michel Sanchez’s men have gone from strength to strength since October onwards, clocking up an eye-catching 11 wins in 13 competitive matches (D2), including a 5-2 demolition of lower-league Orihuela in the previous Copa del Rey round. Nothing less impressive is the fact they’ve bagged 2+ goals in nine of those 13 games, highlighting the potential for another rampant performance. But they can’t take anything for granted, knowing they’ve only won once in ten away H2Hs against Elche this century (D4, L5).

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